Analysis and Commentary from UN Watch in Geneva
July 1, 2011 — Issue 298
Canada Answers UN Watch's Call, Demands N. Korea Resign
GENEVA, July 1 - UN Watch thanked Canada for being the first nation to answer its call to protest North Korea’s new presidency of the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament, and urged the US and the EU to do the same.
UN Watch broke the story and exposed the outrageous appointment in a Wednesday press statement, calling on countries to oust the rogue regime and nuclear proliferator from heading what UN chief Ban Ki-moon recently called “the world's single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum” and “the undisputed home of international arms control efforts.”
In response, a representative of dictator Kim Jong-il attacked UN Watch, saying the Geneva-based human rights group’s objections were “just the continuation of the Western mindset that refuses to acknowledge that the Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) is fighting for disarmament.”
The North Korean diplomat told Fox News that “It is normal for my nation, just as any nation, to become president of a UN conference.”
But UN Watch's protest campaign went viral. It was quoted in South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo and JoongAng Daily, Australia’s Daily Telegraph, Fox News, the Vancouver Sun, Tribune de Genève, Global Security Newswire, Town Hall, Newstrack India, The Daily Caller, as well as on Twitter and in influential blogs like GlobalPost.
Following UN Watch’s report, editorials slamming Pyongyang's propaganda coup appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and The Weekly Standard. In addition to Canada's strong stance, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said, "The United Nations must place pressure on rogue regimes, not hand them chairman gavels."
See quotes below.
Quotes of the Day: “It's common sense that a disarmament body should not be headed by the world's arch-villain on illegal weapons and nuclear proliferation, notorious for exporting missiles and nuclear know-how to fellow rogue regimes around the globe.'' — Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, following news that nuclear-armed dictatorship North Korea will chair a conference on disarmament. Quoted in the "They said it" page of Australia's Daily Telegraph, July 1, 2011, State Edition, Pg. 34
“The fact that it gets a turn chairing a UN committee focused on disarmament is unacceptable, given the North Korean regime's efforts in the exact opposite direction," said Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird. "We call on North Korea to pass the chair on to a credible country that will advance the disarmament agenda within the UN." — "Canada denounces North Korea UN appointment, but is it enough?", Vancouver Sun, June 30, 2011
"It is worth admitting that yes, this looks bad..." — UN Dispatch, a blog that seeks to defend the UN from criticism, sponsored by Ted Turner's UN Foundation. Quoted from Mark Leon Goldberg, "So North Korea is Leading the Conference on Disarmament. So What?", June 29, 2011
“Appointing a North Korean to chair the United Nations' only multilateral disarmament forum is like 'asking the fox to guard the chickens', Hillel Neuer, of the UN watchdog organization UN Watch, has said.” — "Pyongyang presidency of UN Disarmament Conference likened to 'asking fox to guard chickens,'" Asian News International, June 30, 2011.
"'Bare months after the U.N. finally suspended Libya's Col. Muammar Qaddafi from its Human Rights Council, North Korea wins the propaganda coup of heading the world's disarmament agency. It's asking the fox to guard the chickens, and damages the U.N.'s credibility,' Hillel Neuer, executive director of U.N. Watch, said in a statement..." — “North Korea to Lead UN's Nuclear Disarmament Group," Fox News, June 29, 2011.
"'It is common sense that a disarmament body should not be headed by the world’s arch-villain on illegal weapons and nuclear proliferation,' said Hillel Neuer, an official at UN Watch..." — K. Hee-jin, “A ‘nonsense’ post for North," Korea Joongang Daily, in association with International Herald Tribune, July 1, 2011.
“'No system should tolerate such a fundamental conflict of interests,' said Hillel Neuer, executive director of Geneva-based UN Watch, which also led protests against the UN's input at the Iranian conference.”— Steven Edwards, "North Korea takes over UN body for disarmament," National Post, June 30, 2011.
"'Quelques mois après que l’ONU ait expulsé la Libye du Conseil des droits de l’homme, la Corée du Nord a réussi un coup de propagande en accédant à la présidence de la conférence de Genève', a déclaré le directeur exécutif d’UN Watch Hillel Neuer." — "La Corée du nord présidera la conférence de l'ONU sur le désarmement!," Agence Télégraphique Suisse story published in Tribune de Genève, June 29, 2011.
"Hillel Neuer of UN Watch told Fox News on Wednesday, 'It is common sense that a disarmament body should not be headed by the world's arch-villain on illegal weapons and nuclear proliferation.' He called on the U.S. and Europe to protest against the appointment." — "N.Korea Chairs UN Arms Control Conference," The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition), July 1, 2011.
"Neuer said that though North Korea’s new role as head of the conference, which reports to the U.N. General Assembly, would likely be justified by the U.N. by saying it was the result of a an 'automatic rotation,' such an excuse was not sufficient." — Jamie Weinstein, "North Korea assumes presidency of U.N. arms control conference," The Daily Caller, June 29, 2011.